Administration and Finance

Individual Development Accounts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do the initials "IDA" mean?
A: Those initials stand for Individual Development Account. Remembering that will be a good guide to its purpose.

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Q: On what can I spend my IDA funds?
A: IDA funds can be spent on anything that will facilitate your personal professional development. This might include more memory for your computer, your travel to a conference, assistance in indexing your book or hosting a work-related luncheon.

  • Your department/budget administrator can help you make a determination about the eligibility of certain expenses.
  • IDA expenditures are processed in accordance with standard University procedures.
  • These funds are for use only during the academic year in which they were received.
  • Between July 1 and August 31, IDA monies may only be used for travel expenses.
  • This system of IDA funds is specific to the NYU Steinhardt. If you have a joint appointment in another school, or if you are on certain types of leave, see your department administrator for help to determine whether you are IDA eligible.

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Q: What is my annual allotment of IDA funds?
A: For the 2007-2008 academic year, each NYU Steinhardt full-time faculty member is allotted $2,000.

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Q: What is the difference between an IDA Fund, a Steinhardt Full-Time Professional Development Fund, and a Research Start-Up Fund?
A: The differences are:

  • IDA funds can be spent on anything that will facilitate your personal professional development, as noted above. They may support research, if no other funds are available for those expenses. Full-time faculty members receive a set IDA amount each academic year. IDA expenses are charged to Fund 10 and Org 55012.
  • The Steinhardt Full-Time Professional Development Fund is a new contingency fund to support special initiatives, including the research and professional development of faculty members. It is offered through the Offices of Academic Affairs, Faculty Affairs, and the Office of Research.
    • Steinhardt Full-Time Professional Development Fund expenses are charged to Fund 10 and Org 55016.
    • You must apply to receive an award from this fund. To learn more and submit a request for funding, click here.
  • Research Start-Up Funds are used to support a new faculty member's research. Unlike an IDA fund, Research Start-Up Funds can be rolled-over to the next academic year. Your department/budget administrator will be able to determine the Fund and Org to which your Research Start-Up Fund expenses will be charged. This is not the same for everyone.

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Q: How do I access my IDA funds?
A: The funds in your IDA account are accessed in conformance with University policies and procedures, both to make a purchase and to receive a reimbursement.

  • Your department administrator/budget administrator will advise you on the details.
  • Additional information and forms are available at the web site of the University's Controller's Division.

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Q: Should I use my IDA to pay for class or student related special activities that are not covered by my department's budget?
A:
No. You may use the Faculty/Student Class Activities Fund to assist in obtaining money for this purpose. Contact NYU Steinhardt's Office of Student Affairs to apply for grants of up to $100 per activity.

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Q: Can I buy a computer, printer or peripherals and then be reimbursed?
A:
No. You may only make such purchases through the NYU computer store or via the University's computer bulk purchasing plan. If the purchase is made at the NYU Computer Store, you will need to complete and have pre-approved an NYU Computer Store Requisition. It must be approved by your IDA budget assistant in the Office of Administration and Finance.

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Q: How do I use my IDA to make purchases at any of the NYU book or computer stores?
A:
The NYU Bookstores Departmental Book Requisition must be pre-approved by your Administration and Finance budget assistant in order to buy items at any of the NYU Bookstores. (This form is different from the one used to ask the Bookstore to stock books used for a course.) Similarly, the NYU Computer Store Requisition form must be pre-approved for NYU Computer Store purchases.

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Q: Do I have to use my NYU Travel American Express Card for my IDA?
A:
No. In fact, your American Express card is restricted in use to travel and local dining. If you travel and charge it to your IDA, then your AMEX card is appropriate.

  • You can also use your own personal credit card when traveling and be reimbursed upon return and submission of receipts (your credit card statement is not sufficient).
  • Check with your department/budget administrator for help with the correct procedures to pay for tickets or conference fees in advance of your trip.

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Q: On what basis are meal expenses incurred during travel reimbursed?
A:
The University reimburses meal expenses in two ways:

  1. Actual (or Substantiated) Cost Basis
    • Your meals are reimbursed in full upon your return and the submission of original itemized receipts.
    • Reimbursement is subject to the University's $350 total cost limitation described below.
  2. "Per diem" Basis
    • Meal expenses are reimbursed at a fixed rate per day, currently $50.
    • Receipts for meals do not have to be submitted in order to receive the per diem allowance.
    • The per diem for the first and last day of travel are prorated.
    • The per diem applies only when overnight travel is involved.
    • You may not switch between these two methods in one trip; the method travelers choose applies to all meal expenses incurred throughout the trip.

The University's general guideline is that total expenses for lodging and meals should not exceed $350 per day. This total applies whether the substantiated or the per diem basis is used to calculate meal expenses.

Exceptions will be granted if the expense is necessary, documented, and approved by the appropriate NYU Steinhardt representative.

Click here to view NYU's complete travel reimbursement policy.

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Q: What is the reimbursement rate for automobile mileage?
A:
For 2008, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car, van, or pickup truck is 50.5 cents per mile.

Click here for more details and to see rates for other years.

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Q: Can I hire a student using my IDA monies?
A:
Yes, if the student will be assisting you. In general, the steps involved in hiring a student are the same as they would be for a student hired on any other budget line. However, before you hire a student, you must work with your department/budget administrator and keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Students paid via an IDA account may only be paid as a non-Federal Work Study (account code "51119").
  • A 28.5% fringe rate is charged on top of the hourly rate you pay the student.
  • You must sign student appointment requests in acknowledgement that you are aware that your IDA funds are being used to pay your student's salary and fringe.
  • All requests must be approved by the appropriate IDA budget assistant prior to the submission of student employment forms to NYU Steinhardt's Human R esources Office.
  • You and your department/budget administrator are responsible for keeping a running account as you spend down IDA funds budgeted for a student's salary and fringe.

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Q: Can I hire someone, pay them myself, and be reimbursed from my IDA?
A: No. All salary and wage payments must be made directly to the individual earning those payments. Reimbursement for this purpose is prohibited and will not be processed. Instead check with your department/budget administrator for the correct hiring or consultant payment procedures.

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Q: Can IDA funds be used to hire a consultant?
A:
Yes, if the consultant will be working with you. You must work with your department/budget administrator and follow the normal procedures for paying an individual as an independent contractor. No fringe rate is charged for consultants.

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Q: What is the IDA account number to use on the forms?
A:
The fund and organization chart fields for IDA spending are: Fund 10 and Org 55012.

The first five digits or the "Account" number requested on payment forms depends on the type of spending. Check with your department/budget administrator for help in this regard. When completing any form relating to IDA funds, please be sure to write "IDA" somewhere prominently on the form. This is vital if you also have a Research Start-up Fund, to avoid confusion.

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Q: Who signs my requisitions when I spend IDA monies?
A:
There are two signatures needed for IDA expenditures:

  • You must sign these forms in order for us to process your request. Neither your chair nor your department/budget administrator need sign. However, it is important to ask your department/budget administrator to review the forms to ensure that they are filled out correctly.
  • Your IDA budget assistant in the Office of Administration and Finance also must sign off on IDA expenditures.

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Q: How can I tell how much money I have left in my account?
A:
The Office of Administration and Finance works with each faculty member to monitor IDA funds. Each time you utilize funds you should receive a spreadsheet indicating your current balance. If you have questions contact your IDA budget assistant.

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Q: What should I do if I see a mistake on my IDA spreadsheet?
A:
Contact your IDA budget assistant immediately so we can investigate.

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Q: Do my unused IDA monies rollover to the next academic year?
A:
No. Funds do not accumulate each year and cannot be extended for use beyond August 31st. This means that IDA monies received for this academic year can only be used to reimburse IDA-eligible expenses incurred in this academic year. You must submit IDA reimbursement paperwork as soon as possible after the expenses are incurred.

The calendar for IDA spending remains the same for each academic year:

  • September 1 - June 30: IDA monies are available for all types of expenses
  • July 1 - August 31: IDA monies may be used for travel expenses only

 

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Q: Who can I contact with additional questions?
A: Your department/budget administrator can probably answer most of your questions. If you still need additional help, contact us:

IDA Budget Assistance

If your last name begins with the letters A through L If your last name begins with the letters M through Z
Ramie L. Johnson
Phone: 212.998.5147
Email: rlj1@nyu.edu
Jenny-Ann Roberts
Phone: 212.998.5084
Email: jjr3@nyu.edu

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